Music in 2004 / Hello Crystal Method

This middle week of May, 2004 was Trent Reznor's 39th birthday (mine's in less than 3 months), which got me thinking about his band Nine Inch Nails, and about music in general. Since I didn't go to work today, I even got to take an extended shower to my current favorite Crystal Method song "Trip Like I Do". So let's discuss music in 2004.

I've seen and heard alot of great music. I still have a record collection, I watched cassettes try to replace records, then I watched CD's replace both, and now DVD's are taking the lead. Plus there's mini-disks, recordable CD's, and the internet makes it easier to find and get everything. It sounds like 100 years, but that's just 4 decades; from the 70's to today. Are you with me?

I've got my favorite music already; it's 40% 70's guitar rock, 40% 80's intelligent rock, and 20% 90's and beyond alternative-type music. For me it really isn't all that complicated; sorry. I'm not seeking a band to group for; not looking for music with a 'save the world' message (ha). To be honest, I am no longer looking to be impressed by music. I watched MTV begin, and I lived through real radio's end. And I'm not trying to say that I'm cooler or smarter than you; what I am saying is that it's a whole new world now.

Sure; maybe I'm an old fart. But I just don't NEED music like I used to, and thank goodness for that. Wait; I still NEED music, I just don't need it as primary entertainment. It's not a priority like it once was; music doesn't need to be in the foreground. I like to hear music at work, or while driving, at the gym, at the grocery, or when I'm cleaning the apartment. I already mentioned the shower tunes. My expectations of music have changed; I'm not looking to be "wowed" anymore. Honestly I just need some background noise while I'm doing the crap that I have to do.

In that respect, I can now appreciate more than just guitar rock and above-average alternative. I never really listened to dance music before now; I would have NEVER sat and listened to rave standards as primary entertainment. Would you? Probably not. But it IS different now, isn't it? Think about how you might enjoy some dance music at your little junk job right now. Just something, anything, that you could bob your head to a little bit. It doesn't even have to be your favorite music; just some music, in the background. What are you listening to right now?

Allright; so now it's no longer weird that I like the tribute CD's, industrial/electronic music (while writing this commentary I was loaned a copy of the "Electronic Tribute to Pink Floyd"--yum), and my newest musical crush is Crystal Method. I apologize for the premise here that my expectations are lower now. Crystal Method holds it's own in any decade, but Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland have only been putting out music for 10 years now (full CD's for only 7). I'm a couple of years late to the party, but I'm here now.

This is the best dance music I've ever heard; it's the first dance music that I can get totally lost in. And the best part, to me, is that I don't have to give it my primary attention to appreciate it. Yes it's rave music, and I don't dance. So; how could I like it? The compositions have no set lyrics, just samples--and I'm a lyricist. Why would I like it? I'll tell you why; it's intelligent and has structure. It's good enough to stand on its own outside of a club, and it makes for a nice ride under headphones. What exactly are you expecting from the music you listen to?

Man, I GET this! And it makes fantastic driving music--no wonder it's on the soundtrack of GT2! Sometimes I will turn on Gran Turismo 2 and start many races--just to get TO the millennium mix of "Now is the Time"; then I'll hold the brake of whatever car I'm in, stopped, and listen to the song 2 or 3 times in a row. Isn't that crazy? And this isn't like a drug--I'm not ashamed of it or anything. This is me! This is what I do. I am a Crystal Method fan. Thank you.

Musicians? DJ's? Composers? What are they? "Artists" like The Orb, the Underworld, Fat Boy Slim, Crystal Method and such probably could not have been highly successful 20 years ago--although the foundation was forming. All of a sudden, now, the whole world might listen. I sure will. Look at this whole new potential category of musical enjoyment!

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